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8/1/21 - Hiring Is a Dating Process

by Kurt VandeMotter, Linked Executive Search

While many people think of the hiring process as something that is rigid and formulaic, it’s actually a lot more dynamic. Instead, the hiring process is more like a courtship. It’s very similar to dating, as the two parties should be getting to know each other and communicating openly.

Let’s look at how the hiring process mirrors the dating process, and how to better build professional relationships that lead to success for both the candidate and recruiter.

First Become Acquainted

In order to first become acquainted, it’s important for the candidate and hiring manager to both ask plenty of questions.

The #1 objective of the hiring manager is to learn about the candidate and have they accomplished the goals and objectives identified for this role, using past performance and experience as the benchmark, not that you “like the person”

The hiring manager knows what needs to be accomplished, and their questions should be behavioral questions asking about similar situations to what the company is dealing with today. This helps to make sure there is an alignment with the capabilities of the candidate—and that they have had past success in achieving these desired goals

The candidate often takes a passive backseat and just answers the questions they are asked. From a dating perspective, it’s important for the candidate ask the hard questions to make sure the other person (in this case, the company) is the right fit, and whether or not they are a good fit for the organization.

Candidates that don’t ask the tougher questions have a higher chance of turnover, since they haven’t gotten to know the company before taking the job. They need to better understand the challenges of the department they are entering, and what their role would look like.

Even if it’s a well-known company, there are still plenty of questions to be asked specifically about the culture of the organization, what keeps them up at night or what are the biggest challenges the company needs to solve in the next six months, the candidate is making a big decision = make sure there is an alignment.

Kick Off the Relationship

Any company is going to interview a number of candidates. That helps with the dating process. They get to play the field a bit before settling down, looking for the right attributes in a candidate.

The same goes for the candidate. They are able to interview with multiple companies to find a company that is the right fit for them

When a hiring manager interviews different people, they get to see the differences between the candidates that are out there and their ability to succeed. That’s when their instincts kick in and it becomes obvious that one candidate is the right fit.

Candidates are in the same boat. As they date around with different companies, they’ll want to make sure they find a company that they can relate to and have a long, healthy relationship with.

The dating process is a huge investment in time and energy. That’s why it’s so important for the hiring manager and the candidate to ask the right questions and interview around to make sure it’s a good fit before starting a relationship.

Once a good match is made, the relationship can begin.

Extending the Offer (the Right Way)

The best way to extend an offer is first with a verbal offer. Generally, this is contingent on a background check and/or checking references.

This verbal offer allows the candidate to get more details on the actual position title, salary, bonuses, etc.

Once the candidate accepts, the offer can be forwarded to the candidate in writing. From there, the company should do their background check, check references and do any other due diligence required.

Maintain Communication

Many candidates will be making major changes when it comes to accepting an offer with a new company. There is a lot of anxiety about how well they will do in their new role, and if they will be a good fit.

Anything a hiring manager can do to relieve that anxiety can help the candidate to better fit into their new role.

Once the offer is made, the onboarding process needs to start.

Too many companies take the hiring process for granted. They back off and don’t communicate with a candidate. That generates a lot of questions from the candidate.

It’s important for a hiring manager to maintain good communication with the candidate, to answer their questions and to keep them excited about the position.

A little extra communication helps to reaffirm that the candidate made the right decision.

Whether you are a job seeker looking for a position at a company that respects your talent, or you are a business looking for the best talent available, make sure to speak with a search firm that is able to meet and exceed your needs.

The right firm will help you to meet the right company or candidate and start the dating process.

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